The last few weeks I have been regrouping and reorganizing. I am bitten by the knitting bug, or is it re-infected? As I have mentioned before I tend to have Creative ADD.
If you are a knitter you probably know of Elizabeth Zimmerman. A Facebook group I joined is working our way through her “Knitting Workshop”. A new edition was recently released that has peaked interest.
First up is create a hat with Fair Isle accents. We gave ourselves two weeks to complete the hat, using Zimmermann’s guidelines.
Next up is making a sweater. Her method is such that it encourages you to design your own items. And since a purpose of all this is to offer knitting patterns here, it is a perfect match.
Another thing that has been on my to-do list was to make looms for my grandkids to use. OK, truth be told the grandkids are just an excuse. I want to do a bit of weaving with some of the less expensive yarns I have on hand. I mean I need to make sample…..right?!
I wound up making a few different sizes using the guidelines found at CraftLeftovers.
So, today is Memorial Day. Today I am thinking on my goals, as to what to accomplish before Labor Day.
Like many, I have too many irons in the fire. So this weekend was spent narrowing things down and getting focused. Which, lets face it is ALWAYS a battle for me!
I need some input. Which would you find more useful?
1. A guide to painting portraits. In the studio step-by-step.
2. Information on how to publish your own eBooks. A step-by-step on how to have a passive income from your art skills and knowledge.
3. An instructional on knitting lace shawls. Six new patterns to make yourself, along with information on the types of shawls made historically.
People have already been responding on my Facebook page(s). But feel free to also leave a comment below!
Sitting here at my computer, it is a blustery day in Kansas. So windows are shut tight and allergy problems are being attempting to be avoided. I did get out over the weekend though. Sunday marked the annual Neosho Valley Art Exhibit at the Chanute Art Gallery. I was pleasantly surprised to be awarded the Best of Show for the second year in a row.
Mr. Derosa of Coffeyville judged and critiqued the show very professionally. But probably the best comment I heard was ‘The best thing Bob Ross ever did was die.”
Aside from the award it was amazing seeing everyone again. Many of these people I have known close to twenty-five years. Hubby even came with me. :0)
In the studio/office I am working through the piles of “stuff” I have let get away from me. Again I have a VERY large pile of books sitting on the floor, checked out from the library. I prefer to work in an orderly environment and like many always attempting to tame the clutter.
Aside from the expected knitting and art books I also read a number of business books. One particular book that is resonating with me is “Overcoming Underearning” by Barbara Stanny. Women and creatives seem to have a big problem in this area. or, at least I do and many around me do! (Note: Link on cover goes to Amazon, but I am not currently an affiliate.) FYI The copy I have checked out is covered with Post-It Notes for areas I need to look into further.
Easter is going to be here before I know it and we are hoping to have grandkids here that weekend. Oh and their parents too of course. So mentally I am thinking of what I need to get accomplished before then. On the top of the agenda, after getting all the books under control, is to have a painting currently on the easel completed and a shawl for the month of April begun.
The painting is for inclusion in a solo exhibit coming up in June and the shawl is for a collection i want to release later on in the year.
Below are images of a recently completed Estonian Lace Scarf. The pattern is Lily of the Valley from “Knitted Lace of Estonia” by Nancy Bush. (Note: Not an affiliate link)
I used Paton’s Lace yarn. It is not as crisp as others I have used in the past, it has more of a halo. An acrylic blend, so I am not sure I like it. If it is not used for another lace shawl I can always use it for baby items. It is soft, and washable! And very inexpensive in comparison.
It is freezing outside, but inside I was more than a little pleased to discover my plant blooming. It was a gift last year for Mother’s Day from a son-in-law. Just a few days before I had made the comment that I “…hoped it would survive until Spring”.
That’ll teach me!
The goal for 2014 is to have one significant shawl completed for each month. I am not sure if I want to begin on a idea that has been peculating in my noggin, or jump right into creating an Orenburg shawl next.
Eventually it will all come together for an eBook tutorial with original designs.
Talk to you all soon and have a wonderful rest of January! Stay warm! And please be sure to leave comments and/or suggestions. I always love hearing from you!
2014 is here! It gives us a fresh start, a clean slate, to begin again. There will be changes this year in the blog and website. The biggest one being that I am going to start including knitting projects. This of course will be reflected eventually in a new banner etc…
As some of you may know I work a part-time day job at a local Public Library. One of the perks of working there is I am surrounded by intelligent crafty people every day. At some point, I am not sure when exactly, I decided to get into knitting. We have a very strong knitting group at the Library, and local college. It is a skill of mine I wanted to improve. So I tapped into this amazing resource of people and information.
She. was. never. seen. again.
I am obsessed.
I still paint. It will never go away. I still have a book on painting I need to complete! It is just on hiatus at the moment. It has taken a bit, but I have decided to not fight the urge to create with fibers and just to go with the natural creative flow. So days in the studio are split between writing and knitting.
Over the years I have gotten very deeply into drawing, painting, polymer clay, beading and photography. Each tends to feed off the other. Knitting I am sure will be no exception. The website will reflect this instead of trying to force it into something it just is not.
See you in 2014!
Have A Safe and Happy Holiday Season :0)
Just a quick recap of the past week:
This past Saturday was the opening of my show at The Bowlus Fine Arts Center. A collection of oil painted portraits on stretched canvas.
I can not say enough good about the staff at The Bowlus! The day we were to hang the show my back was out, and I was walking like a bent-over-little-old lady. It reminded me of a “Evolution of Man” chart. The more vertical throughout the day, the straighter and more upright I became. But the employees were all extremely helpful, positive and dependable.
We had a decent turnout and other than my social awkwardness things went smooth. Note: I am much more comfortable in front of an easel than I am in front of a crowd.
Tip: I forgot to designate someone to take photos that evening. I wish I had! Hubby and I were so caught up in everything we both overlooked it. So if you can find a trusted friend to take some candid shots during a reception it is a good idea.
For a long while now I have thought, “If I can just get this show together it will be smooth sailing for a bit”. HA! Was that ever a chance for God to laugh at my plans.
The very next morning (Sunday) my Dad was admitted to the hospital, in ICU sixty miles away. By the time I got there, an hour later, he was sitting in bed joking around with nurses. By Tuesday he was released and going for his daily walk at the local Wal-Mart. (SMH) Thankful, but NEVER boring around here for long!
What is next? I want to finish up a couple of pieces that I wish I had had completed for the show. Try to take things up a notch as far as size and skill. The immediate time pressure is off on these two so it will be interesting to see if they come out as I envision.
Still obsessed with knitting, and now that it is getting cooler it is calling me louder. I am sure lace will not add much warmth in a Kansas Winter, but that is what I am hooked on of late. It helps me clear my head. This is particularly true of knitting shawls. They are large enough to hold my interest between painting, but small enough to carry with me.
Also, if there are any writer’s reading this I am sure you are aware that as of today it is National Novel Writing Month! If you are not familiar with NANOWRIMO, it is a non-profit program that encourages people to write fifty-thousand words during the month of November. I have participated in the past, and want to this year. But my want, and hours available are not cooperating. I have not openly committed to participating yet this year. Then again, November isn’t over yet either.
Last but not least, in a little over a week I have vacation time from my day-job in a public library. Nine days in a semi-open time frame to paint, knit and write! Aside from a day trip to Wichita and perhaps KC, I plan on being in full hermit mode the entire time. Ahhhh bliss!
Today was spent boxing up all the work that is ready for a show that will be hung Monday. I also updated inventory lists and made sure marketing materials are up to date. There are still three paintings I could not pack up as they are still drying in some fashion. But they will be ready to go and walk out the door by Monday.
Below are two items that will be included.
So the big question now, what is next?
- Well hopefully I will have some sales (or LOTS!) at the exhibit, perhaps line up some more commission pieces?
- Then to line up more exhibits over the next year. There are some small galleries in the area I have not shone in for years so perhaps at least one will be on the agenda.
- I now have ties in Wichita so I need to look that direction for possible opportunities. I keep thinking KC also, but Wichita is calling me.
- I also need to have reproductions made: Something else I have not looked into for years.
- Finish writing that book, the one that I now have a multitude of notes on from research!
But for now, I need to get this studio back into shape. Every surface in here is covered with books, photos, notes and painting supplies. Then I want to just sit down and knit for a few days, without interruption. To clear my head and further challenge the analytical part of my brain…..while eating chocolate. Who knows maybe I will design a thing or two while I am at it. :0)